The issues of rising pollution, fuel prices and global warming have given way to the concept of electric cars in India. There are mainly two types of electric cars seen here- one is the hybrid fuel which is partially electric and the other is purely electric powered. Despite all the advancements in this field and government subsidies for electric cars, they still have not got into the mainstream car market. Electric cars hardly form 2 to 5 % of the entire cars in the country. The absence of public charging points, high costs of acquisition and the anxiety of driving a car with limited range, are keeping customers away from these cars. Comparatively popular two electric cars here are the Mahindra e20 and Hyundai i10 Electric.
India’s first ever and fully automatic car is the e20 from Mahindra and Mahindra. Launched in 2013 at just Rs 5.96 lakhs, the e20 is a two door hatchback which can seat 4 people. A lithium-ion battery powers the e2o and it can go a hundred kilometres before running out of charge. The range goes down to about 85kms if you want to drive it in an air-conditioned cabin. It takes five hours to recharge the battery to full capacity. The lithium-ion battery powers a DC motor that has a power output of 25.4bhp and 55Nm of torque. The motor is coupled to an automatic transmission. A combination of electrical and mechanical brakes gives the car enough stopping power. The ride quality is also smooth. Features include an impressive air-conditioner, 6.2 inches touchscreen audio entertainment unit with DVD/USB/Bluetooth/Aux-in, storage pockets and holes, chunky steering wheel, seat belts with pre-tensioners, central locking, immobilizer and follow-me-home headlamps.
Toyota was the first automaker to introduce us to the word hybrid car. The Prius which was launched in 2012 can be run on both petrol and electricity. Toyota Prius has a Hybrid Synergy Drive that combine gasoline and electric propulsion with the ability to operate on one or the other, or both, depending on the driving situation. This enhances the fuel efficiency and boosts performance. The 1.8litre petrol engine generates about 100PS and with the added power of the electric motor, the combined power is 136PS. The car can be driven in three modes – the EV, Eco and Power, and on an average it yields a mileage of 23.9 kmpl. The aerodynamic design is pleasing to the eyes and the interiors are also flawless. Features include touch-screen display, USB compatible multimedia, push-button start, smart storage and lot more. There are 2 variants Z5 and Z6 which fall in the hefty price range of Rs 38.10 to 39.80 lakhs.